Item #14982 AN OUTCAST OF THE ISLANDS. Joseph Conrad.


[Shakespeare & Co. copy] London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1896. 1 page preliminary undated ads. Original dark green cloth.

First Edition of Conrad's second book, preceded only by (and containing many of the same characters as) ALMAYER'S FOLLY. After Edward Garnett (then a reader at Unwin's) had "discovered" Conrad and had published his first book, he worked very closely with Conrad on this one -- so much so that some biographers have suggested that Garnett's name should have appeared on the title page as co-author. AN OUTCAST is considered the middle volume of Conrad's only trilogy; the third volume, which he began right after AN OUTCAST but could not complete for almost a quarter of a century, was ultimately published in 1920 as THE RESCUE.

The front endpaper of this copy bears the inkstamp of "Shakespeare and Company / Sylvia Beach Whitman / Kilometer Zero Paris". This legendary English-language bookshop / free library / publisher was run by Sylvia Beach from 1919 to 1941 (supposedly shut down then because she declined to sell her last copy of FINNEGAN'S WAKE to a German officer). Sylvia Beach's bookstore had been the gathering-place for such writers as James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and T.S. Eliot -- with the highlight of that era being its publication of the first edition of ULYSSES. In 1951 George Whitman opened a similar English-language bookshop, Le Mistral, which likewise became a focal point for Left-Bank literary circles (especially the Beats); when Sylvia Beach died in 1962, she willed to Whitman the name of her former shop; Whitman not only adopted the Shakespeare and Co. name (in April 1964, on William's 400th birthday), he also named his daughter Sylvia Beach Whitman -- who still runs the shop today.

This is a near-fine copy, with little wear other than a cracked-and-reglued front endpaper; the two covers have some very faint dampmarks. Cagle A2a.1. Item #14982

Price: $1,100.00

See all items in Fiction (19th Century), Maritime
See all items by